Horse Drawn Okanagan’s Christmas Sleigh Ride event in 2019 was a big hit among guests. The popular rides return in 2021 from Dec. 21-24, and 26-29. (Coralie Nairn photo)

Horse Drawn Okanagan’s Christmas Sleigh Ride event in 2019 was a big hit among guests. The popular rides return in 2021 from Dec. 21-24, and 26-29. (Coralie Nairn photo)

North Okanagan horses help harness holidays

Harness the Holidays sleigh rides offered by Horse Drawn Okanagan after year off due to COVID

After a year missed, Horse Drawn Okanagan teamsters are excited to bring their draft horses back to Spallumcheen for the fourth annual Christmas sleigh ride event.

Guests will experience the magic of a horse-drawn sleigh ride in a good old-fashioned outdoor event. With draft horses, sleigh bells, hot cocoa, and carolling around the fire, it’s a perfect holiday activity for the whole family. There will be games for the kids, great family photo opportunities and friendly goats to visit with too.

The event runs for eight days only, from Dec. 21 – 24, and 26 – 29. Rides are scheduled in the afternoon and evening — every half hour on the hour — leaving guests enough time to get home for dinner or Christmas gatherings.

“This event is the highlight of the year for everyone at Horse Drawn Okanagan. We look forward to it as much as our guests, and after these past two years, there is nothing better than to come together again at Christmas,” said teamster Kelly MacIntosh, event organizer. “Our sleigh rides are truly a unique experience, where you can leave the stress of the world behind and reconnect with loved ones. And our horses have a special way of making everything feel alright.”

The event takes place at Ottercrest Farms in Spallumcheen, which provides a picturesque backdrop on a dead-end road, nestled against the hillside.

“We have reduced the number of seats available per sleigh to 12 people this year due to COVID but we’ve added an additional ride time every day to make up for the difference so there are still plenty of options available,” said MacIntosh. “COVID protocols will be in place to keep everyone safe and enjoy their time together.”

Partial proceeds from the event will support the Canadian Red Cross – British Columbia Fires. The BC government is matching funds donated up to Dec. 31, just two days after the sleigh ride event closes for the year, so the event donation will be doubled.

“A few of our teamsters were evacuated this summer due to the White Rock Lake wildfire, and we were so fortunate to move our horses to temporary locations, and then return home,” said MacIntosh. “The devastation we witnessed was unforgettable. The least we can do is give back to those affected by fires in our community.”

Returning sponsors Bannister Honda and Rellish Transport Services are joined this year by HUB International and Vertex Systems, as supporters of the event. All 100 per cent of the sponsor proceeds are donated to the Canadian Red Cross.

Guests are required to purchase tickets in advance to ensure seats are available, by booking online at https://www.ticketseller.ca/tickets/event/horse-drawn-okanagan-sleigh-ride or by calling Ticketseller at 250-549-7469. The cost is $22.50 for adults, $15 for children 4-12 years, ages 3 and under free (no ticket is required). Guests also receive complimentary hot chocolate and a cookie.

Ottercrest Farms is located at 4387 MacDonald Road in Spallumcheen.

For more information on event details contact Kelly at 250-540-7344, horsedrawnokanagan@gmail.com.

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